The Bill has now been given Royal Assent although it appears to be waiting for the government to bring it into effect. The Act authorises the government to make additional rules applicable to the act, such as necessary signage. We may have to wait for these to be created before the relevant part of the Act commences.
In summary, Section 56 means the following:- Please post any amendments you believe should be made to make it clearer or a more accurate explanation.Where
a driver is liable, in contract or tort (damages for trespass) in respect of parking on land not subject to statutory parking control (private land)and,
in the case of a claim for damages, a notice is displayed showing the amount of damages the driver is liable for, which is adequate to bring notice of that charge to the attention of the driver,then
the creditor has the right to recover any unpaid parking charges the driver is liable for, from the registered keeperif
the following conditions are also met.(1)
(a) has the right to enforce against the driver of the vehicle the
requirement to pay the unpaid parking charges; but
(b) is unable to take steps to enforce that requirement against the driver
because the creditor does not know both the name of the driver and
a current address for service for the driver.(2)
the creditor (or a person acting for or on behalf of the creditor)—
(a) has given a notice to driver in accordance with paragraph 7
followed by a notice to keeper in accordance with paragraph 8
(b) has given a notice to keeper in accordance with paragraph 9
the creditor (or a person acting for or on behalf of the creditor) has
made an application for the keeper’s details in relation to the period
of parking to which the unpaid parking charges relate from the DVLA within 28 days.(4)
any applicable requirements that may be prescribed by the authorities as to the display of notices were met at the beginning of the period of parking to which the unpaid parking charges relate.
A few points.
Nothing in the Act appears to regulate the existing practice of ticketing cars parked on private land or establishing the driver's liability in contract or tort.
The driver must be liable in contract or tort - established according to the ordinary law - for the Act to be relevant.
Establishing the liability of the driver is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for the RK to be liable under the Act. The Act gives defences to the RK - mainly procedural - that are not necessarily available to the driver.
In other words the RK should be able to defend a claim on the basis of a procedural error notwithstanding the driver may not.